• Box Office

World Box Office January 9 to 15, 2023

Thanks to an artificial intelligence-powered doll and those folks in Pandora, a normally tepid January box office weekend bounced with robust numbers.

While Avatar: The Way of Water stayed at number one in the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) holiday weekend, second place M3GAN also scared up solid figures.

The science fiction horror film about an AI doll who becomes hostile to anyone who comes between her and her human companion impressively earned a four-day (with MLK holiday on Monday numbers which are estimated) total of $21.2 million.

Made on a production budget of $12 million, M3GAN has already raked in a total of $59.7 million. And those are just the domestic grosses. Clearly, this fright flick directed by Gerard Johnstone and written by James Wan and Akela Cooper is already a winner for Universal.

In the meantime, Avatar 2, still on top on its fifth weekend, collected $38.5 million (the figures cited in this story are four-day holiday weekend estimates). James Cameron’s sequel to his Pandoran tale, having reached a North American total of $570.3 million, just surpassed The Lion King and The Dark Knight to become the 13th all-time biggest domestic hit.

Will The Way of Water keep going to surpass Titanic’s record of $659.3 million? But before it does that, Avatar 2 has to go past Incredibles 2, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, The Avengers, and Jurassic World.

The weekend’s third placer, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, is no slouch, either. The latest saga of the swashbuckling feline (voiced by Antonio Banderas) clawed its way to earnings of $17.3 million for a cume of $110.2 million after four weeks.

Looks like Tom HanksA Man Called Otto is the adult drama that’s finally clicking well with mature filmgoers after several movies in this genre did not fare well in recent months. Director Marc Forster’s comedy-drama about a grumpy widower (Hanks) climbed up to the fourth spot after earning $15 million.

Gerard Butler’s Plane, where he plays a pilot forced to land his aircraft in hostile territory during a severe storm, ended up in fifth. Directed by Jean-Francois Richet, the action thriller, co-starring Daniella Pineda and Tony Goldwyn debuted with $11.6 million.

Making up the rest of the top ten were, in order, House Party, Calmatic’s reboot and a remake of the 1990 movie, featuring Andrew Santino, Tosin Cole and Jacob Latimore, $4.5 million; Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, $2.6 million; The Whale, $1.8 million; I Wanna Dance with Somebody, $1.4 million; and Waltair Veerayya, filmmaker Bobby Kolli’s Indian Telugu-language action comedy, which opened with $1.08 million.

Internationally, The Way of Water also reigned and is now approaching global revenues of $1.9 billion. China contributed $211.8 million so far to that worldwide total. The cinematic return of the Na’vi is also performing especially strongly in Australia, the United Kingdom, India, France, Germany, South Korea, Italy, and Spain.

The latest Puss in Boots installment is also still making its way to the hearts of offshore audiences, particularly in Brazil, Mexico, Germany, and France. The numbers are solid – $19.8 million latest overseas haul in more than 70 territories, $141 million international cume, and $247.4 million worldwide total.

The hypnotic M3GAN doll is also a hit in many territories, drawing $15.4 million in over 60 territories for an overseas cume of $34.2 million. Globally, the robotic doll has racked up $90.7 million.